2016-12-20

Rise of Religion Worldwide and Belief in God in Australia, Europe

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

by Neil Godfrey

God belief in Australia

The 2009 Australian Survey of Social Attitudes conducted by the Australian National University found that 67 percent of Australian adults believed either in God (47 percent) or in something they preferred to call a ‘higher power’ (a further 20 percent). A less nuanced Nielsen/Fairfax poll in the same year reported simply that 68 percent believed in God. (To put his in a historical context: in a 1949 Gallup poll, 95 percent of Australians declared their belief in God.) The figures for Australia almost exactly match those for New Zealand and the European Union. (Hugh Mackay 2016, Beyond Belief, Kindle loc 2280)

Unfortunately in the Introduction to the same book we read:

According to John Micklethwait and Adrian Woolridge in God is Back (2009), ‘the proportion of people attached to the world’s four biggest religions — Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism — rose from 67 percent in 1900 to 73 percent in 2003 and may reach 80 percent by 2050’. (Kindle loc 66)

We’ve had predictions of the demise of religious belief before: around the turn of the last century, I think, and then in the 1960/70s, yes?

 

The following two tabs change content below.

Neil Godfrey

Neil is the author of this post. To read more about Neil, see our About page.

Latest posts by Neil Godfrey (see all)



If you enjoyed this post, please consider donating to Vridar. Thanks!


One thought on “Rise of Religion Worldwide and Belief in God in Australia, Europe”

  1. The difference is, I suppose, that in the first passage Mackay is referring to Australia, which shares with the western industrialised democracies a decline in religious belief, whereas the figures in the second reflect a growing adherence to the big religions in less industrialised and democratised countries. This difference supports the secularisation thesis which predicts that ‘modernisation’ reduces religious belief and practice.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.